Lectures 2017-2018


Thursday 21 September 2017 - 7.30 pm.

Image and History: Art at the Lansdowne Club, London [more details]
Lecturer: Pamela Campbell-Johnston
Location: Amerikazentrum Hamburg e.V, Am Sandtorkai 48, 20457 Hamburg
(Please note that the entrance to the Amerikazentrum is at the back of the building, not the entrance on Sandtorkai)


The current art collection at the Lansdowne Club highlights the fascinating architectural, social and political history of Lansdowne House, now home to this private members' Club. Through 18th century prints, oils, photography, modern silkscreens, lithographs and mixed media works, the image and history of this Grade II building comes to life. Located in Mayfair, central London, the internal fabric of this important building beautifully fuses 18th century neo-classical architecture with the highly fashionable Art Deco style and serves as an eye-catching home for the current modern British art collection.


Thursday 19 October 2017 - 8.00 pm.

The Life and Times of Jane Austen [more details]
Lecturer: Andrew Davies
Location: DESY rooms 4a/4b


Jane Austen was only 41 when she died, a not very successful author whose 4 books had received only tepid reviews. Today, however, she is rightly regarded as one of Britain's greatest writers. Who was the real Jane Austen? What was her family like? How about sister Cassandra? Why do her novels read so well today? We will explore the life and times of this most intriguing of figures.


Thursday 16 November 2017 - 8.00 pm.

Sheer Folly - British Garden History [more details]
Lecturer: Caroline Holmes
Location: DESY rooms 4a/4b


A chronological lecture charting the evolution of landscapes and gardens from the sixteenth to twenty-first centuries and their frequent role as settings for follies. We will also look at identifying the hidden symbolism in the designs, sometimes complex, sometimes simple, often amusing, often moral and occasionally sad.



Thursday 18 January 2018 - 8.00 pm.

Jan Steen – Master Story Teller [more details]
Lecturer: Jane E Choy-Thurlow
Location: DESY Auditorium


One of the best-known artists of the Dutch Golden Age, Jan Steen was a born storyteller – famous for his humorous depictions of everyday life, but that is not all he did. There are also more serious subjects to be found among his oeuvre. Through looking at his serious and less serious works, we will see that he was a first-rate painter with an outstanding technique.


Thursday 15 February 2018 - 8.00 pm

The Borgias, the Most Infamous Family in History? [more details]
Lecturer: Sarah Dunant
Location: DESY Auditorium


Murder, poison, corruption and incest: all perfect ingredients for sensational popular culture. But in an age known for its brutality and church corruption, were the Borgias really so bad? This lecture reveals the real family that dominated the Papacy and Italian politics during the last decade of the 15th century.Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth.


Thursday 15 March 2018 - 8.00 pm.

The Elgin Marbles [more details]
Lecturer: Stephen Kershaw
Location: DESY Auditorium


It is now around 200 years since the purchase of the so-called 'Elgin Marbles' from Lord Elgin by the British Parliament. This lecture will explore the aesthetics, the back-story, and the heated debates surrounding these fascinating and controversial works of ancient Greek art: what do we mean by 'the Elgin Marbles'? And why are there such passionately held views both for and against their repatriation to Greece?


Thursday 12 April 2018 - 7.30 pm.

AGM followed by
The Gleaming Spires of London - an armchair tour of London's finest buildings
[more details]
Lecturer: Ian Swankie
Location: DESY Auditorium


In the next few years there will be over 200 buildings in London over 20 floors high. The capital boasts an extraordinary range of architecture and the city’s rich legacy and social history can be discovered through its buildings. This talk reveals the evolution of London through its architecture. We’ll explore public buildings, churches, commercial developments and some surprising residences. We’ll also consider the impact of the rapidly changing London skyline.


Thursday 14 June 2018 - 8.00 pm.

30th Anniversary lecture
Coffee: from Arabia to the Coffee House
[more details]
Lecturer: Christopher Bradley
Location: DESY Auditorium


All the world's coffee first traded through the tiny port of Mokha in Yemen. Popularised in Constantinople, Vienna and Amsterdam, the first English coffee house opened in the 1650's. Early prints and lithographs show these coffee houses as 'sobering meeting places' frequented by musicians, artists, authors and politicians, In the late 19th century the promotion and marketing of coffee went through a distinctive art nouveau period and we will see it included in works of the major French Impressionists.



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